Sports / Soccer

Dutch expertise stoking soccer hopes

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-26 07:56

Dutch expertise stoking soccer hopes

Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander waves next to his wife, Queen Maxima, as they attend a soccer training lesson at Shijia Primary School in Beijing on Sunday. Wei Xiaohao / China Daily

The Netherlands' renowned youth soccer training experts look set to help China produce its own future stars, with more Dutch coaches and junior programs to be imported to China.

The intense scene of 82 Chinese students shooting goals and dribbling under the guidance of former Dutch national star Edwin van der Sar at Beijing Shijia Primary School on Sunday was reminiscent of a youth practice session at the well-known Dutch professional club Ajax.

Such junior clinics, which feature the advanced Dutch youth system for training that has produced an abundant supply of international stars, including Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, has reached out to almost 400 schools across China. The clinics instruct children and physical education teachers alike for better grassroots soccer development, thanks to the initiative launched by Sport8 International earlier this year.

The Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander visited the school on Sunday afternoon to interact with a dozen Dutch trainers hired by Sport8, and to encourage Chinese students to improve themselves under Dutch guidance. The king is on a five-day visit to China.

The session was another highlight of the joint proposal by President Xi Jinping and Vander Sar to strengthen soccer exchanges after a junior camp hosted by former Ajax manager Jan Olde Riekerink in Beijing in March. The proposal was made during Xi's visit to the Netherlands last year.

"China is very good in a lot of things, but football is lagging a little bit, so (the Ajax system) will take effect to help youth football development here with the exchanges of coaches ... It will be beneficial," said Van der Sar, the current marketing director for the Dutch club.

Previous Page 1 2 3 4 Next Page

Most Popular
What's Hot